Bran had come up the ancient hillock & saw the smoke first. But his men saw the gold's glow sputtering off of the fires. That glow was unmistakable to desperate men & women but Bran saw the cloaked priests & their obsidian paddle swords laying in wait.
He tried to stop them but it was too late the spirits had them quickly & his hireling warriors picked up in the flea bitten hole of Pesi died in agony.
Bran had learned better to seek the easy gold of the cults of darkness. His real warriors shifted uneasy having watched those fools run afoul of the forces from Outside. Bran's grandfather knew all to well the hidden spirits of Moloch & Baal. Bran continued his quest for the family's hearth stone in the 'Old Quarter'.
But as he rode away something made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end!
The ancient rites of many deities are carried out on the fly out in the wilderness & wastes where adventurers roam. This is often done out of necessity by cults with strange agendas & weird ceremonies that must be conducted on the run. But is there something that's been left behind or treasure for adventurers to profit from at the sites of such occult rights?!
Strange trinkets, golden beads, odd bits of silver, as well as semi precious stones are only some of the bits & bobs left behind by various cults of Sword & Sorcery black gods & cults. Often this iniquitous pieces have precious metals that can be melted into more valuable fare. There are certain classes of adventurers who make it their business to seek these sites out. Vultures are adventurers who seek out sacrificial offerings & treasures to profit from them. There is a 80% chance of a major curse being visited upon the offenders & violators but often there will be a major occultist or dark wizard on retainer who can ease the burden of such curses. They are seen as merely doing business in 'the black trade' as its called.
There is a 30 % chance of the manifestation of a special type of 'holy spirit' that will seek out & destroy any such seekers & thieves of their gods. These manifestations will be of some of the most dangerous undead available from the Outer Darkness. Another possibility is for a holy warrior of the religion whose treasures have been taken to seek out & murder any such thieves. The worst case is where a demon of the god who has been offended & a holy warrior to work together to kill the entire party for their offense to the dark gods. These holy warriors are often of 4th or greater level fighters, barbarians, or knights.
1d20 Random Strange & Dangerous Occult Sacrificial Treasures & Relics Table
- This weird bronze portable altar has the remains of thirty two young women. The skulls are adorned with jade head pieces worth 30 gold pieces. These head pieces can be used in a rare demon summoning spell if gotten within 48 hours of the sacrifice. The whole affair rings with the dark occult power of the sacrifices.
- Bloody, burnt, still smoking this make shift alter contains the charcoaled remains of five victims. There are the half melted gold coins worth 20 gold pieces & a single jade napped knife used for cutting throats worth 30 gold pieces to a black wizard.
- Twelve bodies have been arranged in a weird pile with a single stone carving under all of them. There are twelve semi precious stones of red crystal placed in the mouth of each victim. The stones are red diamonds used to summon the spirits of the death goddess whose cult made this mess.
- A single carved metal & stone head contains an actual human male head. The eyes of the head have been replaced with two large emeralds worth 100 gold pieces each. The head will begin mouthing the words to a demon summoning spell if the emeralds are removed. A demon will gate in 1d8 rounds later.
- A large cage contains the burnt up corpse of a man whose limbs have been removed. The head is a strange demonic thing & there is a chest in the cage containing the remains of a dark wizard's spell book & wand of magic missiles. The thing will spring to life if the chest is disturbed but the monster has the gift of prophecy and will give one character a day a dark & prophetic prophesy.
- Two chest have been left in the middle of the ground. One chest contains 10 heads of men rotting & decaying. The other chest contains 200 pieces of gold coated wooden sticks worth 60 gold pieces because they are sticks of summoning & prayer. These sticks can be used in ancient mystic rites of demon worship.
- An altar is made from bone & living muscle within it are flesh pockets containing the golden tears of a black prophetic seer. These tears are worth 100 gold to a rival cult & they can be used as bargaining tools with demons & black gods of the Abyss.
- A giants head has been made into an altar box, there are twenty two compartments within the still semi living head. The head will bite someone for 1d6 points of damage. There are ninety nine golden coins secreted away in the head & it knows a spell for summoning imps & other minor creatures.
- The hip bone from a giant sperm whale is actually an altar to the dark aspects of Dagon. The god will come to claim the blue alien gold hidden within a compartment within the altar. There is a 50% chance of the fish god trying to kidnap the PCs and drown them. He may curse any violators present when he appears within six rounds.
- This strange box like altar contains the head of a black saint & its an unliving vampiric relic. It contains within it 100 gold pieces and a scroll of cure light wounds but it will try to bite for 1d6 points of damage. The head will sing the praises of the vampire god who may 40% appear to the PC's & try to destroy them.
- An ancient rod altar that folds into a cubic gateway into the Outer Darkness. There will be 1d6 demon women warriors waiting for the PC's to warn them about the gateway.
- An ancient two foot long box of ivory & gold that contains the essence of a unliving soul.. There are over five hundred coins waiting for the right adventurer
- A giant stone slab with 12 hidden compartments across the face of the stone that contains gold, diamonds, etc. all for the sacrifice of the love of his life. 1d6 wights will appear to punish the PC for an unholy union.
- Bronze box made by the hands of a demon, this box contains the sacrificial fingers of past victims dipped in gold. The figures are worth 80 gold pieces and can be used to summon a pig demon for the character's bidding.
- This strange stone slab contains evidence of a time traveler that a demon of the Outer Darkness is after. There is a demon bounty hunter asking questions & now after the PC's. There is a lot of stuff used in demon summoning around in the area including about 40 gold pieces.
- A statue of a goddess contains over 10 gold pieces and apparently the enemies of mankind are seeking one of the PC's for a sacrifice on the table nearby.
- The body of a thief lays at the foot of a strange goddess altar and has around it twelve sets of foot prints including one set of a minotaur tracks who wants to murder one of the party because their scent reminds them of their former lives.
- A round stone pentacle contains seven pure diamonds worth eight hundred gold pieces but there a shadow demon lurking around to kill any one who tries to claim the diamonds. There is the corpse of a thief nearby with strange blue green claw marks on the neck of the victim.
- A strange tabernacle contains the mortal remains of an unholy warrior & she wants to come back. The tabernacle contains over 10 victims of this cult. There are over 100 gold coins in a secret compartment which also contains a dozen blood red scorpions waiting to strike.
- An ancient druid cult used this golden series of disks worth over 400 gold each but there is an invisible curse upon them. The druids will try to scare off the PC's if this doesn't work then the druids will summon a minor demon into the wizard's body